Monomoy Regional School District holds COVID testing clinic
To better protect the health and safety of students, staff, and the greater community as the start of school approaches, Monomoy Regional School District held a COVID testing clinic in collaboration with the Harwich Department of Health on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at Monomoy Regional High School in Harwich. The clinic offered free COVID antibody testing to all Monomoy teachers and staff, as well as to public safety workers in Chatham and Harwich.
All testing was performed by Monomoy nursing staff, using the Truvian antibody test. This test allowed individuals to determine if they had previously been exposed to COVID and are carrying antibodies that indicate a past or recent/present infection. The rapid antibody test allowed clinic participants to have their results in about 15 minutes.
“By offering this testing effort, we can significantly reduce the risk that a staff member may unknowingly pass COVID to a colleague, student, or family member,” said Monomoy Superintendent Dr. Scott Carpenter. “It was a successful collaboration with our local Health Department, and we were glad to include our first responders in the event.”
At the testing clinic, 257 individuals were tested. Of those, there was one positive test result, for an individual who had previously tested positive for COVID the month prior. The other 256 tests were negative for exposure to COVID.
“We are glad to see such an encouraging set of results from this COVID testing clinic, particularly as we near the first day of school,” added Carpenter. “These results should help ease the minds of parents and caregivers, students, teachers and staff, and our wider community, as they support other indicators showing that the local rate of exposure to COVID has been low for our staff since the beginning of this pandemic. With masking, social distancing, and frequent hand washing, we can continue to keep the rate of COVID infections low; thereby positioning our schools to remain open during the upcoming school year.”
“The COVID antibody test used at the Monomoy clinic is an affordable, efficient, and widely available screening tool with limitations,” notes Carpenter. “There are better solutions, and my hope is that the more definitive PCR and molecular testing will soon be cost effective and an option for all in our state and region in order to further support public health in our community and in our schools.”